For a quick meal, head to Koon Kee for its char siew wantan mee – springy noodles evenly coated with an aromatic soy sauce and topped with thin slices of sweet and tender char siew. Fatty char siew not your thing? The shredded chicken or braised chicken feet with mushrooms here are just as good.
Photo: Joyce Koh
You can also unwind at Chocha Foodstore, a café known for its Malaysian dishes and speciality Chinese teas; try the kerabu mango rojak and the Bang Bang chicken (shredded chicken served with Chinese cabbage, glass noodles coated with a Chinese rice wine).
Koon Kee, wantan mee from RM6.50
As soon as you come out of the Cochrane MRT station, you’ll be immediately greeted by the smell of satay coming from Restoran Queen's, which locals say rivals Kajang’s – and they’re not wrong. Expect to wait at least 20 minutes for your order, but the hefty portions of mutton, chicken and beef are worth it.
Photo: Hizwan Hamid
After satay, move out into the street to Yang Kee’s beef noodles, where springy house-made egg noodles are mixed with dark soy sauce and minced beef, and served with a cloudy beef broth complete with tripe, tendon and stomach.
Photo: John Lim
There’s also Peel Road Nasi Lemak, a Chinese-style nasi lemak stall that has been around for years, and known for their side dishes like wild boar curry, chicken rendang, cockles and mutton.
Restoran Queen's, satay from 90sen per stick; Yang Kee, beef noodles from RM8; Nasi Lemak Peel Road, nasi lemak from RM2.50.
Even after moving from their old Jalan Peel premise to the current location along Jalan Pudu Ulu, Char Siew Yoong still reel in the customers with regulars willing to travel the additional distance to get a plate of their roast meats. The char siew – which arrives at your table caramelised and glistening – has a slight crisp thanks to the charred skin and melts beautifully in your mouth. Have them with a plate of rice for a simple, but oh so satisfying, meal.
Char siew with rice, from RM8
Just off the main road of Jalan Cheras is Nasi Ayam A Hassan, a nasi campur shop that’s often packed during lunch. There’s plenty of good lauk to choose from, but most come here for the batches of piping hot fried ayam kampung that sell out almost as fast as the cooks can fry them. The skinless chicken pieces (RM5 for a fist-sized piece of chicken) may look bony and lean, but they are full of flavour. Cutlery can be scarce during peak periods, but you’re welcome to use your hands for a fingerlicking good lunch.
Run by a group of native Pakistanis, this unmarked chapli kebab stall is where you can find authentic Pakistani chapli kebab – beef patties topped with a beaten egg, and served with naan, mint sauce, dhal and a wedge of lime. Here’s how to get the most out of the dish: first squeeze the lime onto the patty, then you tear a chunk of patty and wrap it in a piece of naan. Dip everything into the mint sauce and dhal, and you’ll have yourself a typical Pakistani kebab.
Chapli kebab, RM4
The obvious favourite around these parts is Sate Kajang Haji Samuri, but Nyok Lan Satay Kajang also deserves a shout out. What sets Nyok Lan’s satay apart is that he only uses lean meat for both his chicken and beef skewers; you might be sceptical, but the meat is surprisingly tender and moist.
Photo: Bryan Ong
If it’s lunch you’re after, head to Hong Kong Lat Thong, which is known for its signature spicy soup (lat tong) made with pork or chicken, as well as fah tiew chicken – chunks of chicken are braised in a thick soy sauce that’s mixed with Chinese rice wine.
Nyok Lan Satay Kajang, satay from 90sen per skewer; Hong Kong Lat Thong, lat thong and fah tiew chicken, RM 12.